Books by Jane Lawrence Mali

CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 1994

Two authors noted for stories that gently challenge social and gender roles (Oh Boy! Babies! [1980]; Sam and the Moon Queen [1990]) offer another. Bridget, ten, feeling hemmed in by three brothers (triplets) and with a fourth on the way, is dismayed when Great-Aunt Dawsie, her best source of advice and sanctuary, announces her impending marriage. Bridget's brothers insist that she should build upper-body strength to become athletic, but she can't quite manage the pushups; Dawsie wants her to be maid of honor and (horrors) wear a dress; and topping off Bridget's list of concerns, her parents' motel is failing. By the end, her self- esteem has been affirmed: She's helped to renovate the motel's miniature golf course, bringing in a burst of new business, and has enjoyed participating in the wedding. Dawsie also gives Bridget her small cabin as a hideaway—plus a set of free weights. An easily read story with a cast of engaging characters; the message is delivered with a light touch. (Fiction. 9-12) Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

Cats and Casey are best friends; together with Benny, they are trying to learn more about a new resident on their street, John Smith, who wears a slouchy hat and a bandanna over his face. Casey sneaks into Smith's cellar and comes face to face with the man himself. He shows her his ``mask''; actually, he's the victim of terrible burns inflicted when he went into a blaze to rescue his carving tools. To make amends for her intrusion, Casey delivers a jack-o-'lantern to Smith; in return, he lights up his yard with a magical, massive display of beautifully carved pumpkins, including one that looks just like Casey. Written in simple language, this is a more easily read version of the Scout/Boo Radley relationship in To Kill a Mockingbird. The mystery is a bit perfunctory, but the Halloween atmosphere is well realized and the sentiments are all in the right places. (Fiction. 8-12) Read full book review >